Can you eat knafeh when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat knafeh when pregnant, what is knafeh, is it healthy to eat knafeh when pregnant, what is the risk of eating knafeh and what sweets you can eat when pregnant.

Can you eat knafeh when pregnant?

Yes, pregnant women can eat Knafeh as long as it has been made with pasteurized cheese. Mozzarella cheese is the most used cheese, it is considered safe to eat for pregnant women. If made with unpasteurized cheese, the recommendation is to avoid it because unpasteurized dairy products can have food-borne bacteria. 

Knafeh is a sweet dessert that should be eaten in moderation because it can lead to weight gain. 

What is knafeh?

Knafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with a special pastry called kataifi. It is soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup called attar and layered with cheese or other ingredients such as clotted cream, pistachio, or nuts. The layered depends on the region.

Knafeh is very famous in Egypt and the Levant area. Also, there are some variants in Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans. According to traditions and history, knafeh refers to the string pastry itself. The name may change depending on the region. 

It has a delicate creamy and subtly sweet flavor. The flavor changes depending on the region it is made. In Lebanon, they use mozzarella cheese while in Turkey they use a stringy sweet cheese made from sheep and cow’s milk. 

The most popular knafeh is known as Knafeh Nabulsiyeh which originated in the city of Nablus. Nablus is a very popular city because it represents Palestinian desserts. Knafeh Nabuls uses white-brine cheese colored in white-orange food coloring and topped with crushed pistachios. Other variants are

  • Kadayif and kunefe in Turkey
  • Triste Xetai in Tabriz, Iran
  • Kadaif in Greece
  • Gaza Knafeh in Palestine

Is it healthy to eat knafeh when pregnant?

Knafeh is normally made with phyllo dough, shredded mozzarella, sugar, butter, water, and lemon juice. Some recipes may contain ricotta cheese. Both mozzarella and ricotta are safe to eat when pregnant as long as they are pasteurized. 

One slice of about 124 grams contains 409 calories, 25 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 38 grams of carbohydrates of which 19 grams are from sugars, and 7.7 grams of protein. 

One slice is high carbohydrate, high fat, and high sugar content. Knafeh should be eaten in moderation for a special occasion. 

What is the risk of overeating knafeh?

Knafeh can lead to rapid weight gain because of its sugar, calorie, and fat content. The consumption of more desert-like Knafeh than healthy food can be fatal to pregnant women because it can interfere with proper fetal development.

If you gain too much weight during pregnancy there are several complications mom and baby can suffer.

  • Gestational Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Complications during birth
  • Baby health 

Gestational Diabetes

You can develop gestational diabetes, a condition where glucose or sugar in the blood is way too high and insulin can’t work correctly. You may need to take medication and the mother can develop diabetes even after the baby is born. 

High Blood pressure

You can develop eclampsia and preeclampsia. Both can lead to mother and baby complications and even death. 

Complications during birth 

If you gain too much weight it’s more likely that you end up in cesarean because vaginal birth tends to be more difficult with excess weight. Also, babies of mothers who gain too much weight are usually bigger. It can also lead to premature birth. 

Baby health 

Moms that gain too much weight tend to have babies with high birth weight and these babies have more risk of being obese and developing diabetes when older. The lack of nutrients in junk food can interfere with proper organ development. 

Babies of moms that didn’t follow a healthy diet during pregnancy have more risk of behavior disorders like depression, attention deficit disorder, and poor learning. Also, a lack of nutrients in a mother’s diet has been connected with autism. 

What sweets can you eat when pregnant?

Desserts and sweets can be eaten in moderation when pregnant. When it comes to cravings, it is all about moderation and balance between sweets and a healthy and balanced diet. Follow this link for a healthy dessert for pregnancy cravings. 

Other FAQs about Pastry that you may be interested in.

Can puff pastry go in the fridge? 

Can puff pastry be refrigerated overnight?

Can puff pastry go in the fridge?


This article answered can you eat knafeh when pregnant, what is knafeh, is it healthy to eat knafeh when pregnant, what is the risk of eating knafeh, and what sweets you can eat when pregnant.


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